Chelsea Benincasa set out to complete a marathon. As she trained for the 26.2-mile race, she experienced pain in her legs, shins, and ankles.
Her coach worked with her to find the cause, but realized she needed additional support to continue training safely.
Her coach recommended she see Jeff Bonnette of Aquacare Physical Therapy in Easton.
“I was having calf pain and couldn’t continue training,” Chelsea said. “My coach knew Jeff and highly recommended him.”
Chelsea had a thorough evaluation by Brooke Bielecki, DPT, and set up the majority of her treatments with Jeff.
Chelsea’s plan was geared to loosen up certain muscles and to strengthen her core and hips to ease her lower leg pain so she could get back to training.
“As she continued to add miles, she had other pain, including hip pain, so we continued to adjust her program so she could get stronger and run with less pain,” said Jeff.
Physical therapy helps to restore proper movement because when one area is not working correctly, the therapist can work on retraining the body so that it functions properly.
“We find what is tight and what is restricting movement because if the ankle is not moving well then the body finds another, less efficient way to move which puts more stress on other areas,” Jeff said. “So, if we figure out the cause then we can improve their mobility and get the right muscles activated which will improve the overall function.”
Big Sur was in April and Chelsea had been working with Jeff since January.
“Each time we hit a roadblock; Jeff would find a solution. He kept working with me to help me reach my goals,” Chelsea said.
During the marathon, Chelsea felt strong, even though while training in Maryland, she had never faced a 2-mile hill like the one nicknamed Hurricane Point at the mid-point of the Big Sur race.
She focused on what she learned during training and in physical therapy to conquer the hill.
Chelsea finished the Big Sur marathon in 4 hours and 43 minutes – ahead of her goal. She was in the top 28th percent of female runners and in the top 30th percent in her age group.
“It was hard and exhausting, but I finished,” said Chelsea. “I told myself right after that I wouldn’t do it again … but now I am thinking about my next one.”
And Jeff will be there if she needs him again.
“A lot of people come to physical therapy after surgery or because of a stroke or other illness, but for the runners who are trying to complete a marathon, it is a big deal too. I take each patient on an individual basis and work to help them achieve their goals,” Jeff said. “All of the treatment plans at Aquacare are set up and modified when necessary to keep patients on the right track. I really enjoy the challenge of helping patients accomplish their goals.”
Aquacare – Easton provides:
• Advanced rehabilitation for orthopedic injuries or surgeries
• Gym-based and aquatic physical therapy
• Balance and vestibular therapies
• Concussion Rehabilitation
• Lymphedema management
• Pelvic floor therapy for men and women
• Pregnancy and postpartum physical therapy
Evaluations can be scheduled within 24 hours if necessary. Schedule today by calling 410-770-9720 or go to www.aquacarephysicaltherapy.com.